Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fly, Fly Away

Labor have been going on about promises a LOT recently.
And so they should. O'Farrell has done a lot of stuff he didn't say he would, and a lot of things he hinted or outright promised he wouldn't.

Luckily for Labor, it is a little hard to break promises when you're not in government. Most promises made during an election are made on a "When I'm Premier" basis.

The only promise I remember either side making on a "If we lose" basis was in relation to members staying on after the election.

The Coalition hammered Labor over whether Keneally and particularly Eric Roozendaal would stay on after the election. During the debate, Keneally committed that they both would:
Full story from the SMH
Late last night it was revealed that her promise would be broken.
Unfortunately for the Coalition, I don't think there is any hay that they can make out of this. Come next election, almost no one will remember or even care what someone who was premier four years before did.

With the promises and guarantees O'Farrell has broken to date, "broken promises" is probably a discussion he would rather avoid anyway.

What will be worth watching will be what happens in the by-election for the seat. Keneally is leaving the Lower House next week, so things will move swiftly.

After the Clarence by-election last year I took a close look and concluded that it gave every side something they could use, and really didn't prove much at all.

Heffron is in a very different situation.These were the numbers after last year's election:
From this helpful ABC website
The website reporting on the 2007 election still exists - it's not as pretty but the numbers are all there. Bear in mind that in 2007 Keneally hadn't yet become Premier, and had just finished her first term as MLA for Heffron.
There was a big swing against Keneally in 2011 - but the swing was almost identical to the swing for the state as a whole.

Will the Coalition be able to engineer another 7% before the by-election? It is difficult to imagine how.

The polling numbers are still very similar to the election result. True it is that the recognition of a local member who was also the Premier may have artificially inflated Keneally's vote - but that works both ways when you have a massively unpopular government being given the boot.

Given what has happened in the last few months (not least of all the changes to WorkCover), I'm expecting at least a small move back to Labor in the next NewsPoll.

To me, the seat doesn't look winnable for the Coalition. So this comment from the excellent @PrestonTowers seems pretty spot on:
Unlike in Clarence, it is difficult to see the Coalition winning the seat, and short of that it is difficult to imagine how they could spin the result a being a "win". Keneally may have broken her promise to stay, but how much are the Heffron residents going to punish the Labor candidate for that?

Not a lot, I'd suggest.

1 comment:

  1. Heffron preselections have often been a pretty brutal affair for the ALP ( so I suspect some of the Libs' decisions will come from how messy it is for the ALP this time around.

    Another consideration is also whether Mehreen Faruqi will have another crack, given the strength of her support in the recent NSW Greens Senate preselection. (

    Given her strong support from the PTB in the NSW Greens, and an investment from the party, could the Greens push back the ALP vote enough to do a Bradbury in Heffron?